As promised, a second review from Second Life. This one from Doctor Who fan Aunxant Verwood. Hope you enjoy Aunxant's take on Water of Mars! If you want to add a review, email Harold Saxondale at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Well, only two episodes left until the end, eh? It's hard to believe, but there it is, the truth of the matter. Proof in the pudding, as it were.
Or rather, the Flood.
Never before has an episode of Doctor Who been so inundated, so filled to bursting with fresh ideas in the form of new emotional reservoirs for cast and crew to draw upon, to better flesh out the characters we know and love, or love to hate.
Waters of Mars is a monumental episode in the history of the series, not only because of the special effects, the acting, the writing. The cast.
It itself is an epic idea, simply because of the sheer amount of new storytelling substance that it incorporates, not in terms of creative fodder, but emotional; and, as we all know, it has been quite a while since the Doctor has really taken a hard look at himself, an instance of fact that is conveyed beautifully by the entire production.
As we see in the final frames, David Tennant's Doctor demonstrates the character's growth as a psychologically imbalanced hero in a moment of deep mental disturbance, while Lindsay Duncan's strong-minded Captain Brooke provides the sane and selfless counter to the Doctor, who is in the throws of a psychotic break.
The whole of the episode, from Andy's infection in the bio dome to Steffi's in front of the vids of her children, is leading up to the Doctor coming to terms with his survivor's guilt, the struggle between what he knows he should do and what he feels he must.
He walks away, like a good little mortal, but then he returns as a god and interferes.
Just as the Doctor tries to bend the universal laws he has tried to uphold in a fit of grief and madness, Captain Adelaide Brooke sees this, and decides to preserve those laws for him, taking her own life to ensure the survival of the correct course of history.
And, as in many good stories before it, Waters of Mars leaves us wondering what just happened, while providing a new depth of character to the lead and new creative fodder for the writers and supportive cast that has not yet been seen.
Has the Doctor lost his mind, sacrificing his sanity and sense of self on the altar of the Flood's victims?
Or is something else about to happen?
All in all, the episode deserves some kudos, for its failings as well as its successes.
Character development of the supporting cast was possibly designed to be shallow, to point a shining attention towards the main leads... if one can call that expert use of technique a failure, then... the show is doomed.
In other words, not many failings to be seen, the way I see it, but who am I? Just another fan.
And speaking of failing the fans, how many will appreciate that the Doctor has finally lost it?
We've been waiting for him to break, though. Can't be that much of a surprise. It's the logical course of events for the character, after so much trial and hardship, not to mention the denial and avoidance that has been such a prominent staple in this incarnation's life.
Perhaps now, in the wake of the Waters of Mars, we can see how the character will grow into his new role of madman.
Or will he learn to live? Will he remember to be humble in the face of his own destruction?
Like the man said, "I live in hope."
note: Reproduction is allowed by the author of this review.